Manny Mirabal

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Latin Dancing

Three words… WHAT. A. RUSH!! So let me tell you exactly what happened to have made it such a rush. It started with Tuesday night’s LASO Meeting at 7 pm, it turned out to not be just any ordinary meeting but a Latin dance workshop. That night we “learned” how to dance a Dominican dance style known as Bachata, by none other than the Queen of Bachata, Victoria Calamusa. Bachata includes an 8-step dance pattern with a tap on the 4th and 8th intervals, being from Caribbean Latino origin it also includes using lots of hip movement while dancing.

Photo Courtesy of Pixabay

Positive energy filled up the room as we began to partner up and dance our hearts out, with lots of excitement, and laughter. What ended our workshop that night was a truly magnificent spectacular dance from the instructors. Victoria Calamusa and her dance partner danced so beautifully, that you can see the whole story of the song that played in the background just by looking at them dance. It was amazing! After that, we headed to CHHS for the Latin Dance Club hosted by Victoria Calamusa and Ana Jeri. We sat down discussed what we wanted the club to be and gave our names to each other. We got up and went outside and the “true” party started!

We danced the night away…. I wished. We played music from basically most of our Hispanic childhood, as well as modern English songs with the Latino spice into it. We danced for about two hours, dancing Bachata, Salsa, Merengue and Cumbia. This club from just the first meeting can really make someone’s attention want more. Practicing outside of CHHS brought people’s attention especially with the upbeat Latin rhythm, loud and lively, it gave people the invite to join in on the dancing and the fun.

This club is more than just a club, its family already all due to the power of dance and music that brought us all that night together. I 10/10 recommend many to go and at least check it out, as this club is also a good workout if you’re interested in exercising in a more exciting way. I would also want to clarify, just because it’s a Latin Dance club that doesn’t restrict the possibility of getting non-Hispanic members participating and joining the club.

Come on and dance the night away with us Tuesday nights at 8:30 pm. Locations vary as of now as we’re searching for a permanent location! Just contact Victoria or Ana if anyone is interested in attending Tuesday nights or have any questions that may have popped into your head while reading!

Hope to see many new faces at upcoming meetings to dance our hearts out!!

Victoria: vcalamus@uncc.edu

Ana: ajeri@uncc.edu

 

🎶Chicago, Chicago🎶

Picture courtesy of Emmanuel Mirabal

That toddlin’ town is the first city I have ever visited without my family! I went in early August and came back about a week before move-in day. It’s about a 12-13 hour drive from our campus depending on your route of choice. Chicago is truly the windy city as they call it, gusts of winds blowing everywhere at every time, it sometimes led me to believe it was actually fall instead of summer. I spent the nights at a friend’s house up in Chicago, and they became my “tour guides” so to say. An amazing place to go is to the Navy Pier(Picture) right on Lake Michigan with tons of restaurants to eat at and activities to do.

Navy Pier is the best way to look out toward Lake Michigan and the Chicago Skyline in the day and or the evening. An awesome place to eat while in Chicago, which I high-key wish we had here in the Queen City, Giordano’s Pizza and Portillo’s Hot Dogs. In Giordano’s Pizza, I tried for the first time ever a Chicago deep dish pizza, something completely different from what we know as deep dish pizza. Their pizzas are something out of this world, they flip the pizza over within the deep dish crust, so instead of your traditional crust, sauce, cheese, then topping its actually crust, topping, a thick huge layer of cheese and sauce.

Chicago is one of the most diverse places in the country. Chicago like many other famously big cities can truly only be explored by walking it as traffic is insane, but what is more insane are the parking lot/deck(s) as they are EXPENSIVE!! It was about $20 just for an hour for most lot/deck(s), but we found one that was cheap and was $25 for 2-10 hours.

Picture Courtesy of Emmanuel Mirabal

Walking around, you could hear basically all the languages of the world. In my experience, I got to hear Italian, French, Spanish (of course), Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Swahili, even Russian, IT…WAS…AMAZING! There was even a parade for my people, a Cuban parade; I decided to go because I haven’t really seen other Cubans since I left my state of Florida so it got me pretty excited. I got to meet other Cubans and even befriended them, had lunch with them and celebrated with them at the parade and after as well.

I also passed the famous Drake hotel, which it’s said to be haunted by The Woman in Red, a ghost who committed suicide after catching her husband cheating on her in 1920, the year the hotel publicly opened. With my great experience in the Windy City, I totally recommend going to Chicago if you haven’t gone! It really introduces you to multiple different cultures and really quick. I hope those of you that haven’t gone will consider going one day!